THE DOS AND DON'TS OF CONFIDENCE - A QUICK HITTER
Despite losing the series to the Boston Celtics the year prior and regardless of the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers franchise was 0–8 vs. Boston in NBA finals history, when Magic Johnson and the L.A. Lakers traveled to Boston for Game 6 of the 1985 NBA finals he instructed his team to “only bring one suit. We're not staying in Boston for a game seven.” Magic didn't want there to be a backup plan, he was confident. Optimal confidence is linked to competence, self-determination, proper focus and an athletes feeling of preparation for the task at hand. Confident athletes experience fewer self-doubts and are appropriately focused, allowing them to play at their best.
- To build and nurture the development of confidence ALWAYS:
- Focus on things that you control. Attack each day with an unparalleled work ethic and make sure to give full effort in all training and game situations. Things will not always go your way however you can choose to respond positively in all circumstances. Strive to maintain discipline in all areas of your life knowing that small sacrifices in the present lead to future success.
- Believe and trust in your own abilities at all times; as well as your coaches and teammates. Be optimistic and utilize positive self-talk and affirmations. When negative thoughts enter your head, reframe, combat or change them to positive thoughts. This way of thinking does not guarantee success, however it gives you the best opportunity.
- Set daily, weekly and long-term processes oriented goals and S-M-A-R-T (specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, timely) ways to achieve those goals.
- Never apologize for having big dreams or goals. Employ a growth mindset and strive to fail each day. Mentally tough individuals see failure as the blueprint to success and part of the learning process.
- Utilize a routine prior to performance. The familiarity of a routine improves confidence by reminding you that you have done this before.
- Visualize executing the fundamentals needed to succeed before called upon to perform. See yourself and your team thriving.
2. To undermine the nurturing and development of confidence NEVER.
- Waste time and energy fixating on the things outside of your control. Past failure, recent success, the weather, crowd, or even the opposition have nothing to do with your ability to perform at your best.
- Beat up on yourself in the form of negative self-talk or punish yourself for failing. Everyone experiences negative thoughts however if you are competing against the opposition and yourself you are outnumbered!
- Compare yourself to others as you are on your own unique journey.
- Base your worth on winning. There is a difference between who you are (a human being) and what you do (athlete). True success in sport is not based on individual statistics or by a win loss record, any more than success in life is based on possessions.